I just had to check to see that I had not misheard the words of Arsene Wenger as gave the pre-match press conference ahead of the Arsenal away trip to face the Premier League’s second bottom placed club Swansea City. You can listen to the whole thing on the Arsenal website and he talks about many issues including the injury situation, but it was the comments about the possible striker transfer targets for Arsenal that made me scratch my head.
If two of the three players that had signed Arsenal contracts this week were the Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez and the German midfield star Mesut Ozil then this news reported by the Arsenal website would be even better for us Gooners.
To be fair to the club and Arsene Wenger though, the three players that we have tied up to new contracts are very important members of the squad and so to hear that they have committed their futures to Arsenal is definitely good news.
What with all the fixture congestion and the injury problems that Arsenal have had to deal with in the first half of the season, together with the fact that Arsene Wenger has often admitted that the FA cup is below the Premier League title and the Champions League on his list of priority goals for the Gunners, I was half expecting the Frenchman to field a team of nearly unknown players today.
I doubt very much whether we will see anything like the goal that Olivier Giroud scored for Arsenal against Crystal Place two days ago when the Gunners take on AFC Bournemouth tonight, but Arsene Wenger will be hoping the France international striker’s confidence will be sky high and he has rewarded him for that super scorpion kick by handing the little used forward another start on the south coast tonight.
There were always going to be a few changes made to the Arsenal line-up for tonight’s away game, especially as Elneny has headed off to the African Cup of Nations with Egypt, but the small amount of time to recover since our last game means that the boss will have wanted to freshen things up.
Everyone concerned with Arsenal Football Club would have been disappointed to see the current Premier League leaders pass their latest by beating AFC Bournemouth despite having to play the game without first choice centre forward Diego Costa and midfield star N’Golo Kante.
But there was some encouragement yesterday in our hopes that Arsenal can make up the nine point gap and give Chelsea a proper run for their money this season. It came from the slightly unlikely source of Tony Pulis, who despite being clearly disappointed that his West Brom side were not able to hold on to take a point home to the West Midlands, said after the game that he thinks that Arsene Wenger has a stronger squad of players than Antonio Conte.
Despite the two losses at Everton and Man City last week, Arsene Wenger is pretty upbeat about the season and our hopes of Arsenal lifting the big Premier League trophy at the end of it. In fact it sounds like he is expecting the teams above us in the EPL table to slip up over the festive period.
The boss pointed out that the Gunners have been playing well and looking strong until the last two games and even in those we did take the lead so there are some positives there as well. Just as Arsenal’s position changed very quickly in the space of a week, Wenger reminds us that the same thing can and is likely to happen to our rivals for the title.
Arsenal fans can only wonder about whwther the German international star was hoping for some contact from our club in connection with a transfer to north London, but after all the Arsenal transfer runmours linking us with Jukian Draxler over the last few years I have to think that he would have been expecting Arsenal to be one of the clubs interested in him.
And with Arsenal so reliant on Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Oxzil aand Arsene Wenger in the process of trying to persuade them to stay at the club and sign new contracts, Arsenal fans will have been hoping that all the recent news about Draxler being set to make the move from the Bundesliga club Wolfsburg would see the German finally coming to play for us.
Arsenal play host to West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day, which will be no formality after recent events.
The Gunners failed to pick up any points from their last two matches despite taking an early lead against both Everton and Manchester City, and will now have to battle with themselves mentally before they will stand a chance of overcoming the recent results.
The safest bet to start you off with should be both teams to score which is currently priced up by CrownBet online odds at 5/6 (1.88). In each of the Gunners last eight Premier League matches, this type of bet has come in, and judging by their mental frailty at present paired with the fact that centre-back Shkodran Mustafi is out injured, this should be a near-certainty.
Well there you have the perfect example of Arsenal’s luck, after we drew the German giants Bundesliga for the next round of the Champions League despite having finally finished on top of our qualifying group for the first time since 2011.
Arsene Wenger will surely be cursing his poor fortune, although I suppose it could have been worse as the one team that the Frenchman really did not want to draw was Real Madrid and that was also a possibility. Maybe the fact the PSG who came second in our group after that surprise draw in the final group game were drawn with the other Spanish giants Barcelona.
You would think that every Arsenal fan in the world would have been delighted after yesterday’s round of games in the Premier League, with the Gunners showing the grit, desire and determination to come back from the setback of going behind to Stoke City from the penalty spot.
Arsenal showed great skill as well as a winning mentality to get that third goal that took us above Chelsea in the Premier League table, but as Metro reports our former striker Ian Wright was not sounding very positive when asked about it on Match of the Day last night.